Article January 12, 2017
"Humility is the king of virtues on the spiritual path; we must sincerely desire it and work on our mind and intellect to develop it. Before God-realization pride exists in everyone because it is the first flaw created by maya and the last flaw to leave. But very few people detect they have pride because it resides in the intellect and so the intellect by itself is unable to see its own flaw".
- Swami Mukundananda
Meditation is a means of elevating the mind to Divine consciousness, for reaching the ultimate goal of life. When you begin your meditation practice keep the following points in mind:
Why is the mind disturbed and unable to focus?
The mind is made of material energy and the material energy, Maya, has three modes, or gunas – sattva guna, rajo guna and tamo guna. As these gunas vary throughout the day, a person’s thoughts too keep fluctuating. It is very natural for the mind to fluctuate due to its intrinsic gunas. If it remained at the highest consciousness all day, there would be no need for spiritual practice.
What is the mind and am 'I' distinct from the mind?
The mind is a subtle machine provided along with the body to the soul. It is fascinating machine that continuously generates thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, and stores knowledge and memories. Since 'you' are the soul seated within the body and the mind is another part in the body, you are definitely not the mind. The fact that you are distinct from the mind, places a greater responsibility on you to consciously control it, and channelize its potential to lead an elevating life.
How will meditation help in focusing the mind?
At present the thoughts in our mind are scattered and so they keep fluctuating. Meditation helps us to concentrate our thoughts in a particular direction. By repeated practice we can learn to concentrate the mind and hence increase the utilization of our mental and intellectual faculties. Moreover, the object we meditate on, influences our consciousness. Hence, through meditation people also strive to develop a calm and positive outlook.
Why is the technique of Roop Dhyan Meditation particularly beneficial?
Different meditation techniques all over the world use different techniques to concentrate the mind. Some meditate on the breath, others on the centre of the eyebrows, other on the psychic centers in the spinal column, yet others on a still lake, and still others on a light, etc. These may improve our concentration but they fail to address the most important issue of "cleansing of the mind". Remember the mind is made of three modes of material nature, hence if we fix the mind on anything material, even if it is in the mode of goodness, our mind will always remain in the material realm which is impure. God and His Supreme Bliss lie beyond all these three modes of material nature. Hence, to achieve eternal bliss or the Supreme goal of one's life, one will have to attain a divine consciousness. And this can be done only by fixing the mind on a divine object. Even if you wish to eternally imbibe all noble qualities like honesty, humility, compassion, perseverance, etc. it can be done only by fixing the mind in the Divine realm.
What is the Divine realm that I should focus my mind on?
Beyond the material realm is the Divine realm. It consists of God- His Names, Forms, Virtues, Abodes, Pastimes, and Saints. If we fix our mind anywhere in this area, it will become pure. This instruction was given to Arjun by Shree Krishna:
मां च योव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते ।
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान् ब्रह्म भूयाय कल्पते ।। (Bhagavad Geeta)
“I am Divine. If you fix your mind on me, it will rise above the three modes of Maya.”
त्याज्यं दोषवदित्येके कर्म प्राहुर्मनीषिणः ।यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यमिति चापरे ॥
भावार्थ : कई एक विद्वान ऐसा कहते हैं कि कर्ममात्र दोषयुक्त हैं, इसलिए त्यागने के योग्य हैं और दूसरे विद्वान यह कहते हैं कि यज्ञ, दान और तपरूप कर्म त्यागने योग्य नहीं हैं ॥3॥